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174                            LETTERS   FROM   THE

foreign ministers,  and believe I  did very well in
following that plan.

January zgth, 1.797*

I went last night to the bal abonne at THotel
de Richelieu; it was very much crowded, but, as
you may suppose, with few of my acquaintance
except those I went with. Madame Campan's
sister, Madame Rousseau, was there with a stout
unmarried daughter, and a still stouter married
one, dancing away all three. I saw many men
and women kicking their heels about, whose age
would have condemned them to the benches in
former days.

Madame Tallien was almost the only tolerable
face, though haggard with hard duty and some
thinking. She wore a black wig, en tete de mouton,
sticking up behind, and interwoven with pearls
and diamonds. Her dress had much gold and
•p'ongeau. She made a great display. Her shoulders
are broad, and her figure robust. She dances
well, has fine eyes, rather an Irish nose—I mean
turned up at the end only. I do not know
whether you understand me, but Burke's is so«